of the Arizona Constitution
is entitled Mode of Amending.
It has two sections. Together, they lay out the methods by which the constitution may be altered over time.
The three methods of constitutional amendment allowed by Article 21 are:
- Initiated constitutional amendments. These go on the ballot if an initiative petition is signed by qualified electors equalling 15% of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election.
- Legislatively-referred constitutional amendments. Either chamber of the Arizona State Legislature is allowed to propose an amendment. A majority of members of both chambers must approve it; if they do, the proposed amendment goes on a statewide ballot for a popular vote of the people where if a simple majority approves it, it becomes part of the constitution.
- The Arizona Secretary of State is required to publish a copy of the proposed amendment in a newspaper in each of Arizona's 15 counties for a period of at least ninety days before the election.
- Proposed amendments must be voted on separately.
- The state legislature is allowed to call a special election for the purposes of voting on proposed amendments. If no special election is called, amendments are voted on in the next statewide general election.
- A constitutional convention may be called by a statewide vote of the people. In the absence of such a vote, the state legislature is not allowed to call a convention. Any proposed changes to the constitution that are reported out of a constitutional convention must be submitted to a statewide popular vote where, if approved by a majority of those voting, become part of the constitution.
Note: Article 21 defines how an initiated constitutional amendment may go on the Arizona ballot. Article 4 lays out the initiated state statute and the veto referendum processes.
|| Text of Section 1:
Introduction to Legislature; Initiative Petition; Election
Any amendment or amendments to this constitution may be proposed in either house of the legislature, or by initiative petition signed by a number of qualified electors equal to fifteen per centum of the total number of votes for all candidates for governor at the last preceding general election. Any proposed amendment or amendments which shall be introduced in either house of the legislature, and which shall be approved by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, shall be entered on the journal of each house, together with the ayes and nays thereon. When any proposed amendment or amendments shall be thus passed by a majority of each house of the legislature and entered on the respective journals thereof, or when any elector or electors shall file with the secretary of state any proposed amendment or amendments together with a petition therefore signed by a number of electors equal to fifteen per centum of the total number of votes for all candidates for governor in the last preceding general election, the secretary of state shall submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the vote of the people at the next general election (except when the legislature shall call a special election for the purpose of having said proposed amendment or amendments voted upon, in which case the secretary of state shall submit such proposed amendment or amendments to the qualified electors at said special election,) and if a majority of the qualified electors voting thereon shall approve and ratify such proposed amendment or amendments in said regular or special election, such amendment or amendments shall become a part of this constitution. Until a method of publicity is otherwise provided by law, the secretary of state shall have such proposed amendment or amendments published for a period of at least ninety days previous to the date of said election in at least one newspaper in every county of the state in which a newspaper shall be published, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. If more than one proposed amendment shall be submitted at any election, such proposed amendments shall be submitted in such manner that the electors may vote for or against such proposed amendments separately.
|| Text of Section 2:
No Convention shall be called by the Legislature to propose alterations, revisions, or amendments to this Constitution, or to propose a new Constitution, unless laws providing for such Convention shall first be approved by the people on a Referendum vote at a regular or special election, and any amendments, alterations, revisions, or new Constitution proposed by such Convention shall be submitted to the electors of the State at a general or special election and be approved by the majority of the electors voting thereon before the same shall become effective.